defragged, detached, and decocted: the blogger’s journey

The past three days have been decidedly desolate.

My computer, Mackenzie, obviously read with great interest my post of March 26, in which I invited you, beloved reader, to meet Rancher Ed Sly, and also proffered a not-so-subtle invitation to gather up the fragmented pieces of yourself and be whole now (blog title, see above), all the while shaking your bootie to the fractured Three Dog Night lyrics, “Integrate! Integrate! Dance to the music.”

Profoundly inspired, Mackenzie immediately signed on and was whisked away to her own defragment, a type of computer debauchery in which you “reduce fragmentation of your files by concatenating parts stored in separate locations on a disk.” Meow! For the rest of us, the process is akin to searching for hundreds of thousands of paper clips scattered throughout a 237-acre dairy farm, hooking them together in various and sundry chains, and then repositioning them in any one of, say, 450 million alternate sites that they should have occupied in the first place, had there not been some type of glitch in the matrix.

Mackenzie, an overachiever not unlike her mother, required continuous defragging over a period of 18 hours — all at the hands of somebody who called himself Drive Genius, which displays a certain high-minded and overblown sense of self, wouldn’t you agree?

Left to pace nervously while the procedure fragged on, fortified by drinking copious amounts of caffeine-free tisanes, I experienced a profound detachment from my entire life, and slipped into a tailspin. None of this benefitted from my having watched the movie, Sylvia, in the days before my PowerBook-cum-DVD-player was taken hostage by young geeks in a storefront sporting a Mexican cantina motif. Dios Mio! Between them, they possessed sufficient electronic gear to text-message amoebic life forms on Pluto, yet for whatever reason were congenitally incapable of responding to a phone message from across town.

Devoid of music, film, blog moderation, writing, email, and other mid-life necessities, I did what any self-respecting literary figure would do: I gathered up paper and pen, and began writing searing, self-revealing and angst-ridden poetry in honor of Sylvia Plath. When that enterprise proved neither self-nourishing nor sufficiently diversionary, I decocted — drawing my inspiration from the archaic notion of “extract(ing) the essence from (something) by heating or boiling it,” from the late Middle English (heat up), from the Latin (boiled down).

In today’s terms, we would call the entire experience a “nuclear meltdown,” unless one had a history like Sylvia Plath, in which case, one would call for immediate transport to a safe and peaceful haven in the country.

Happily, this was not necessary. I had a leg of lamb (sorry, Vegan Nation!) slow-cooking in the oven for 12 hours, and conjured days worth of fantasies featuring Rancher Ed Sly, a chestnut brood mare, and a platter of almond scones served with lemon curd.

Mackenzie seems fine, and I, retethered. Deep and meaningful insight on the whole affair to follow. But first, I declare, “Decompression!”

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